New ECP WEBMAP, collaborative community webmap for all GIS grantees
One of the critical factors distinguishing freeware and open source software from professional products like ESRI GIS is technical support. Technical support means that there are experts in dozens of categories you can call whenever you have a problem with your data, maps or analysis. Professional also means that there are hundreds of books and classes you can take to increase your skills. With ESRI's grant program donating these powerful tools and with the wide support for open source standards they provide you can be much more effective. All ESRI GIS software comes with free maintenance and support provided for the first year or 90 days, depending on the product. That will allow you to get technical support by phone or email, and to get automatic updates free when new release versions come out during the free period. Before your free period ends, you will get a quote from ESRI asking if you want to continue on the maintenance/support program and listing the retail prices to do that, based on the GIS licenses you have. As you might guess, ongoing support and updates are important in helping ensure success in a GIS program, but for most non-profit groups, the recurring maintenance fees may be more than you can afford. Fortunately, annual maintenance is a grant item just like software, and you can apply for a discount or waiver of your maintenance fees using the official Maintenance Grant Guidelines on page 4 of the standard ECP grant application form. As these guidelines explain, Maintenance grants are annual, you have to re-apply each year, and as part of the review for free or discounted maintenance requests we'll look at any maps, stories or data that you have shared at ArcGIS.com during the past year. If you have past-due maintenance fees these can also be waived or discounted, just include the details about them in your request also. There are no options, paid or granted, to get permanent free maintenance, you have to re-apply each year, but after 3 years of successful annual maintenance grants your next request can be for a 3-year maintenance grant.
What to Expect: ESRI sends out email reminders and quotes about maintenance & support at the beginning of each month. You'll see your notices regarding updates, renewals and support expiration starting around 120 days before the end of your current support term:
-120 days before the end of your term: ESRI License Summary and Contact Verification email. This is to confirm/update your contact information to make sure any pending software updates are sent to the right address and person and represent correctly the ESRI software you currently have.
-90 days before term end: ESRI emails you a maintenance quote listing the retail prices for you to renew your technical support, and your options for applying for discounts and grants.
-60 days before term end: ESRI reminder email
-30 days before term end: ESRI reminder email
-0 days, at term end: If you haven't renewed or applied for a grant, ESRI emails you a notice that your tech support & maintenance subscription has ended. If you have submitted a grant request and haven't yet gotten your approval, just respond as such to this note and they can extend it.